Tuesday, 18 December 2012


Please check out our new page entitled "Participant Directory" and try to add to it soon! 

It is located on the right side of the blog, underneath the photo.

Thank you for your continued participation in the "We Can See" Project.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

We Can See in Winnipeg

Way back in October I saw a blog post by an amazing teacher in Ontario, Angie Harrison. She proposed a project called "What Can You See?" where students observed and then wrote about all of the things they could see from their classroom windows. You can check out her original post here and you can find a collection of posts here.

We looked at a number of submissions by different classrooms and the students begged to make their own book.  Because we do not have a window in our classroom we decided to go for a walk around our school and take pictures of all of the things we could see. Over the next few weeks we wrote the text for our book.

Finally, Mr. Miller, our Vice Principal came and helped us to record an original song to go with our story.

This project has helped to inspire some amazing discussions and even collaborations with other classrooms. We hope you like our book and we can't wait to see more books added to the project.

We would love to see what some of you can see. Please feel free to send us your own "What Can You See?" book. 

Friday, 14 December 2012

What we could see this week

My two classes are often following different inquiries and interests. The magic of sharing with each other through document panels, class-made books, notes left on our "sharing" parking lot, and other artifacts of learning, has led to sparks in one class provoking interest in students in another class. I have loved watching this purpose-driven print unfold in my classroom this year.
This month, ongoing class books were suddenly left behind as new ideas sparked new projects. One such spark came from the "We Can See" project. My morning class saw the first post, and several students made this connection: "We make books too!", "We could go and see what we have at our school", and "We have a park next to us too!". We headed outside and took notice of what we could see from our playground.

The next day, I invited my afternoon friends to see the same post, and they were likewise excited to head outdoors for a walk to take pictures to share. They liked the format of the Bond Lake story, so we chose to use the same form even though we're more adept at telling our stories with Voicethread.
My kindergarten friends are intrigued by the idea that other students will read their book and might communicate with them. We hope you like our book!


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Snowflake Shadows

Last week our students were really appreciative to find a response to our "Snowflake Surprises" post from Mrs. Lowe's class in Winnipeg Manitoba.  They too were working on snowflakes and sent us a link to their class blog at http://room8-adventuresinkindergarten.blogspot.ca/2012/11/symmetrical-snowflakes.html for inspiration.

Here is what they did with math pattern blocks which they showcased in their "Symmetrical Snowflakes" post:

Our students were very interested to try this out on our light table, overhead projectors, and on our math carpet.  We thought that we would visit the library first and ask our librarian if we could use some more books to inspire our pattern block snowflake creations.  Our librarian (Mrs. Reeves) is nothing short of amazing!  She always has the right book(s) available at the exact moment that we need them!  And believe me, we visit her a lot with all of our new wonders...

Mrs. Reeves suggested "Here Comes Jack Frost" as another way to encourage students to revisit their initial theories about snowflakes and snow and see if they had adjusted or developed any new theories.

After we read the story the geometric creations and snowflake shadows began to take form:

Our students continue to place "stop" signs when they want to preserve
their work and add to it at a later time. 

We thank our friends in Mrs. Lowe's class for providing us with our most recent snowflake spark!  If you would like to join our "We Can See" project, we would be happy to provide you with all of the information for logging in.

This coming week we plan to visit Mrs. Malkoske's blog http://200awesomedays.blogspot.ca/2012/11/bag-up-manitoba-results-and-snowflakes.html from Winnipeg, Manitoba to continue to improve our snowflake shadows.

Are you learning about snowflakes, snow, or winter?  We would really love to hear about it!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Snowflake Surprises

Dear "We Can See" Participants,

Today's weather in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada was windy with some snow flurries. 

We went outside and couldn't help but notice the snow that was falling.

We began to look more closely at it on the ground...

In our red wagon...

And on ourselves...

Have you ever seen such perfect snowflakes before?  Look closely!

Our class was completely blown away by our new discovery.  Ms. Babalis and Mrs. Ham were also surprised at how perfect and beautiful the snowflakes were.

Here is what we were thinking about after our outdoor winter observations:

E.Y.: It's snowing, because Santa is almost coming!

R.J.: There are different shapes of snowflakes.  I celebrate Christmas and Chanukah.

J.A.: Last year I was outside and it was winter and I made a snowball and it was snowing.  That kind of snowflake like from A.A.'s hat was falling.

M.Y.: I think that the star snowflake looks beautiful.

A.A.: That star up there (points to the photo of her hat on the smart board) nobody ruined it and I like it!

Ms. Babalis asked, "How might snowflakes get made?  What are your theories?"

Z.A.: Maybe they make snow and they make stars out of it.  The people who make the snow.

S.F.: The snow comes from the sky and snowflakes come from snow.

J.B.: The builders make snowflakes.

L.N.: I think that they put stars inside and then they wrap it around with snow.

A.A.: Because they have stars and I think they are very beautiful.  When I was a baby I couldn't see them.

Ai. St.: I think God or somebody, because God is in the sky.  My mom told me.

T.M.: From clouds and then the snow falls.  The sky carves the snowflakes.

R.J.: The moon makes them.  Someone on the moon with a rocket ship got out and made a snowflake.

E.H.: Maybe the snow gets squashed together and it falls.

J.A.: Snowflakes are made out of water and snow!

Then we read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats to continue to think about snow and snowflakes.

We noticed that all snowflakes look different.  They are different sizes and shapes.

As we begin to develop our theories about how snowflakes are made we draw them.  This slows down our thinking.

We will share more about this environmental inquiry soon!

Here is a digital version of the book that we read for you to share with your classes or families.

As we continue to wonder about the winter, we are curious to hear what your theories are about how snowflakes are made.  Do you have snow where you live?  

What can you see outside your winter windows?  

We would love to hear your response in the comment section, and have more of you join in on this winter inspired environmental inquiry.  It would be interesting to hear how theories differ from school to school.

Thank you for reading our blog post!


Ms. Babalis and Mrs. Ham's Class 
Bond Lake P.S., Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada.

"I made my own What Can You See book!"

Given that the "What Can You See?" project has been quite a topic of conversation daily for our students, we couldn't be happier to see them continuing to make those meaningful connections beyond the walls of our classroom! From Google Earth, Skype sessions and beyond, Ms. Theis and I started this week with an incredible surprise! We were delighted to see one of our SK students create her very own "What Can You See?" book over the weekend with her family! Not only did the expression on her face show pure excitement, but you could tell that she was so proud of what she had created! We didn't waste any time having her share such a wonderful artefact with the class and to top it off, our students were not only inspired, but eager to add her name and book title to our comparison charts and make connections between her book and the others that we read! Wow - talk about a meaningful extension and authentic home/school connection!

Please take a look at what this student can see when she looks out of the window of her house. 
We hope you feel inspired!

The What Can You See Book (1) For Winter

I can see many houses.

I can see the fences.

I can see plants.

I can see paving.

I can see the grass.

I can see the BBQ stove.

We welcome parents to get involved in this amazing project by sharing what you see in different environments (e.g. "what can you see out of your office window?") with your child! Please comment on our blog with your insights and we look forward to sharing them with our class!

"I think we can write a letter!"

Our classroom is involved in an amazing project entitle the "We Can See" project.  Please see our previous post for more information.  As a class, we have decided to create a binder with documentation notes, photos, work samples, and other "We Can See" books from our friends around our school board, city, province and the world.

After having received a wonderful letter from the Lorna Jackson Public School students, we reviewed our documentation notes and began to think about how we would respond.

We hope that our friends at Lorna Jackson Public School are pleased with this post that is dedicated to them.  They continue to inspire us to improve our technology skills within our classroom.  If you haven't already, you should visit their blog at http://ljpskindergartenteam.blogspot.ca.  Their students are engaged in many fabulous learning opportunities, thanks to their innovative educators and principal.

Dear Lorna Jackson Public School,

How are you doing?  We are the kindergarten students from Bond Lake P.S. that you wrote to.  We loved your letter and compliments.  It made us feel happy to know that you liked our surprise!  Clouds are so fascinating.  "Fascinating" is a fancy word for "interesting."

Here are some compliments, connections, and questions that we had for you:


D.B.: I like the playground.  It is cool, because of the colours when they play hide and seek they have a place to hide. 

H.W.: I saw the back of their beautiful school.

T.M.: I liked the basketball nets.  They can play basketball.  They can practise shooting in the net.

Z.A.: I like all of it.  I love to read the words and I love to see the pictures.  


S.F.: Our school has a fence and they have a fence!

T.M.: They have a shed and we have a shed!  They must have a shed to hold all their toys in!

J.A.: We see a stop sign at your school.  We have one too!


L.N.: I wonder if their teacher is nice or not.

An.Si.: I wonder why a little bit of your school is same like ours.

S.F.: I wonder how much stuff they have inside their school to play with.

J.A.: I wonder why you have lots of signs?

S.F.: I wonder if they have a class pet.  I think it is a guinea pig!

L.N.: I wonder what animal they have or if they don't have an animal.

J.A.: What do you look like?

Thank you for your letter.  We have attached some pictures that we wanted to draw for you.


Ms. Babalis and Mrs. Ham's Class from Bond Lake Public School.

G.G.: We can draw Lego Ninjago for Lorna Jackson P.S. to see, because maybe they do or they don't know about them.

An.Si.: I know that the boys will know what Ninjago is, because maybe they watch it!  And the girls won't know, because they don't watch them.

This was a very big debate between three of our boys.  We would love to hear if your students know about Ninjago (girls and boys).

Here are the Ninjago pictures made by some of our boys from our Spinners and Movement Inquiry:

Ms. Babalis was wondering: 

What projects or inquiries are happening in your classroom? Can you write back and talk to us about them?

We hope that you enjoyed this post.